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Eagles Lose Fourth Straight
TAMPA, Fla. ? Southern Miss jumped out to a 14-5 lead nine minutes into the game here Tuesday night, but saw the host South Florida Bulls go on a 21-3 run to take a 32-23 halftime lead and eventually beat the Golden Eagles 74-54 in a Conference USA game.
The loss was the fourth straight for the Eagles who dropped to 5-7 heading into a 1 p.m., Saturday afternoon home game against UAB, a game that will be televised on ESPN Plus.
South Florida improved to 11-3 overall and 2-0 in C-USA games. Southern Miss is winless in two league games.
The Golden Eagles did almost everything right in the opening minutes of the game, scored the first basket, and used senior guard Brad Richardson's basket at the 10:58 mark to go ahead by nine points at 14-5. However, the Bulls quickly warmed to the task and outscored the Eagles 23-9 over the final 10 minutes of the first half, and carried that momentum into the second half where their lead grew to as much as 26 points, with just under four minutes left in the game.
Only Richardson managed to get into double figures for the Eagles. He had 11 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes of playing time. Nine of the 10 Eagles who played scored with David Haywood picking up nine points in only nine minutes. Clement Carter and Dante Stiggers added eight each.
Altron Jackson came off to bench to lead both teams in scoring with 20 points. Greg Brittian added 10. The Bulls hit 10-of-23 from three point range and shot .492 (31-63) from the floor while limiting the Eagles to 18-of-45 (.400) from the floor. Southern Miss did make 11-of-13 free throws.
South Florida won the rebounding battle 34-to-29 with Brittian and B.B. Waldon getting five each. Ben Lambert led both teams with six rebounds. He also had recorded three blocked shots.
The Eagles again played without leading scorer Elvin Mims, who, according to Head Coach James Green, practiced with the team Monday and could be on the bench for Saturday's UAB game.